Do you ever have one of those days where you walk into your kitchen, look in your pantry/fridge, and wonder what you can make that will use all your odds and ends while still being edible? This meal stemmed from one of those days. I picked through my veggies and put random combinations into google until I stumbled upon a recipe for this lovely salad. The combination of cucumber, peanuts, long beans, fish sauce, tomatoes, and dried shrimp didn’t sound particularly appealing, but let me tell you, it was delicious! One of my favorite things about Thai food is the way many dishes balance sweet and salty flavors while also offering a variety of textures and colors. Overall Thai dishes are often complex, beautiful, and light. This salad delivers on all three.
First things first, I want to apologize to my blog here. I’m sorry blog, for neglecting you for so incredibly long. Sure I moved a few times, picked up and dropped a few different jobs, fled a country or two, BUT guess what, that’s over now. No more neglecting my cooking, my crafts, or my little pet project here. I’ve got a backlog of recipes for you and I’m not going to let them rot on my external hard drive forever! So, without further ado, I present to you all some lovely beautiful delicious pancakes filled with blueberries and made with *homemade* ricotta. Wassap, yeah, I made cheese. It was easy. NBD. Look at them. Yum. Aren’t they pretty? Yes. Yes they are.
I feel like people really take postickers for granted. Sure they can be hit or miss sometimes, maybe the wrapper is too thick and gummy or the filling is bland but when potstickers are made well…they…are…AWESOME. I’ve had a bajillion different kinds of potstickers, dumplings, gyozas, etc. over the years and I’ve loved nearly all of them. One of the best things about potstickers is how cheap they are. An order of 6 at a a restaurant might run you $5, which isn’t bad at all BUT making them at home is even cheaper! The ground pork I used for mine was about $4 and the wrappers were $2 bucks. Throw on another couple bucks to account for other flavors and such and you’ve got 26+ potstickers for around $7, considerably cheaper than the restaurant variety. Also they’re totally easy to make and definitely brag worthy. What can go wrong with delicious filling wrapped in dough, steamed, then pan fried to golden crispy perfection?? Nothing, that’s what.
There is a restaurant here in Vancouver called Lin’s that legit makes the BEST noodles I have ever had. It’s famous for its xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and the noodles are hand pulled fresh every day. It. Is. AWESOME. If I could, I would go there everyday and feast on all the amazing noodles, soups, dumplings, etc. I could get my hands on. While Lin’s is incredibly cheap, eating out even once or twice a week is hard on the wallet. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of tasty tasty goodness. One of my favorite dishes from Lin’s in the Dan Dan Mian, which is basically noodles in a spicy peanut sauce. Yeah. Delicious. I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant to try and make dan dan mian at first. I figured it would require all kinds of fancy ingredients, technique, and ancient Chinese wisdom. Well, I’m sure those things would help, BUT it turns out these noodles are stupid easy to make. All you do is brown some onions and pork, add in your saucey bits, and let it simmer for a bit. Once that’s all done, pour it over some noodles, try not to cry (into the noodles at least), and enjoy.
Soooo I’m back again. For real this time too. Classes are finished, I’ve finally recovered from celebrating the end of classes, and I had a ridiculously easy exam schedule. With this term is over, I’ve only got to take two more classes during the summer to finish off my Bachelor degree. The realization that I was nearly finished with my undergraduate degree filled me with a mixture of excitement, accomplishment, and uncontrollable horror. After this summer I will be a real live person out in the world trying to get a job and make something out of myself. Or at least that what I’m supposed to be, we’ll see what actually happens. I’m still trying to come up with a plan to stall my becoming an adult, so far my options include running away and becoming a gypsy, adopting a lot of cats, moving back home with my parents (yikes), or somehow traveling around the world for the rest of my life. So far, not so good. Needless to say, I’m freaking out a bit over here. After spending one particularly frightening afternoon looking up job opportunities (or the lack thereof) I decided I needed to forget about my bleak bleak future for a little while and just cook.
One of my favorite things in the world to do is to go grocery shopping. Probably not much of a surprise seeing as how I’m obsessed with food and all but whatever, it’s my favsies. I always try to go for groceries at LEAST once a week because there are always sweet new weekly bargains to be had and it’s a nice excuse to get off campus. I generally buy my proteins and dry staples at Safeway and I’m always pleased to see what they’ve got up for grabs. This summer I scored a huge pork shoulder for $11, I’ve landed plenty of cheap chicken and beef, and THIS week I scored two whole trout for five dollars!!!! So yeah, I bought the trout, went home, put them in my fridge, and smiled a lot about it…then realized I’d never cooked a full fish of any kind before. I’ve eaten full fish before at Chinese restaurants and once during a camping trip BUT I’d never had any hand in making them. I thought about it for a while, took out one of my trout, stared at it, and turned to the interweb. So, thank you internet and thank you black bean sauce for making me a delicious fish.
Sooooooooooooooooo I guess I took a bit of an unexpected hiatus there…sooorry about that. You didn’t miss much though. I’m still poor, subsisting on quesadillas and mac n’ cheese, and blowing the last of my cash on concert tickets and cheap beer…basically being your typical college student. My lack of funds led to a pretty blah diet so I was hard pressed to find things to blog about. I kind of figured y’all didn’t need to read about how to heat up a can of soup or cook up a box of Annie’s (a.k.a. the best mac n’ cheese IN THE WORLD) so I refrained. BUT after a couple weeks of feeling sorry for myself and bitterly watching the food network/reading cooking blogs I slapped some sense into myself and got back to cooking. I made some soups and breads and one of my friends even took on the roll of sugar mama/financier and bought us ribs. It was all good but it wasn’t until I made these samosas that I finally got back into the game. Dirt cheap, easy to make, easy to freeze, and beyond delicious…these guys were worth blogging about! So world, I introduce you to my lovely little samosas….